Presented on Saturday, October 5, 2019 in the Barn at Quarry Farm as part of the "Mark Twain and Nature" Quarry Farm Symposium.
One of Mark Twain's last complete works was written by request. A Horse's Tale (1907) had its beginnings in a letter from stage actress and animal welfare activist Minnie Maddern Fiske asking him to write a story that could be used to decry bullfighting. Twain enthusiastically did so, but he set the story on the American frontier, with Buffalo Bill and his horse as heroic counterparts to the violence of the Spanish bullring. This paper looks at the implications of Twain's use of Cody and the American frontier to further the cause of animal welfare at the turn of the 20th century.
Charles C. Bradshaw is an Associate Professor of English at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, having recently moved there from the University of Tennessee at Martin. He has written on a variety of American literary topics and is currently working with the Papers of William F. Cody and the University of Nebraska Press on publishing a scholarly edition of Mark Twain's A Horse's Tale.